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Section A: General News

Editorial: Faith leaders protest budget cuts, and Americans lose

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About politics and other things
May 30, 2012 | 1,424 views | 2 comments

The economy needs help, but government does not have all the answers. In fact, in some cases, the government is the problem.

Rep. Paul Ryan understands that in order for this economy to improve, government needs to get out of the way and allow businesses the freedom to expand. As they expand operations in order to produce more, they hire more people.

That is how jobs are created.

Thus, Ryan has proposed a budget that would cut government waste and slow government growth, but critics claim that it would leave people in the streets and starving. It’s the same old game between the two parties, and they are both complicit to one degree or another.

As Ryan announced his budget, the media, also complicit in many ways, joined the critics. MSNBC, for instance, called the budget “draconian.” Critics said that Ryan’s budget would leave “billions of dollars of subsidies” for big profitable corporations that would pay “absolutely no income tax.”

There are some things wrong with these statements. First, they assume that people, especially seniors and children, cannot feed themselves without the aid of government programs. Secondly, a corporation should make a profit because we don’t need anymore federal bailouts of corporations that are not profitable. And third, corporations do not pay income tax.

Taxes are paid by shareholders in the form of lower profits and by taxpayers, as the taxes are added to the cost of goods and ultimately, consumers pay.

Often government-assistance programs are self-perpetuating, as those who administer the programs worry that if people have jobs, they would no longer need these programs. Thus, it’s in their own self-interest to keep as many people on the dole as possible.

Another factor that perpetuates these programs is that when the government sees something as a good thing, it immediately wants to make the “good stuff” mandatory, like telling us we have to pay for birth control even if it’s against our religion.

Critics of budget austerity lean on religion, saying it’s “antithetical to the fundamental issue of Jesus.” People of faith and in the churches who profess their obligation to help others are not blameless either. There was a time when churches were the givers of charity. They expected to be called upon, and people expected to call upon them, when they needed help.

Churches, too often, just direct people to the proper government agencies for help. This is backfiring on churches because their influence, even within their own flocks, has lessened, even as the influence of the government has strengthened. Increased government control goes hand in hand with the decreased church involvement.

As we look at the increased distribution of free meals and food stamps, we should remember the signs in national parks that warn visitors not to feed the animals, lest they grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves.

There is a lesson here. It’s not just animals who grow dependent and unable to fend for themselves. We have created this conundrum, and we need to find a way out.

Your Opinions and Comments

Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
June 1, 2012 10:53am
Good thought Grouch. Over the years government program propaganda has almost erased the stigma attached to being on welfare. To some it is a badge of accomplishment in being able to stick it to the productive citizens. In some ... More ›

May 30, 2012 11:29am
A couple of years ago, Elaine wrote about her family trying to help a family that they perceived to be in need. Although I feel sure that they could have used the items offered, pride prevented them from accepting the offer. ... More ›

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Section A: General News Archives